Mavs’ Tim Hardaway Jr. Issues Statement After Father Calls Out Teammates Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving

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The Dallas Mavericks’ late-season collapse has drawn angry reactions from ex-Mavs guard, Tim Hardaway, Sr. He recently questioned the Kyrie Irving trade and called out Luka Doncic as not being “leader” material.

While the scathing remarks by Hardaway, Sr. weren’t off the mark, they proved problematic for his son, Tim Hardaway, Jr., who currently plays on the Mavs.

On Wednesday, Hardaway, Jr. put out a statement, distancing himself from his father’s remarks about the team, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Tim Hardaway Jr. #11 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Tim Hardaway Sr. of the Golden State Warriors looks on during a game in 1991 at The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena in Oakland, California. (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

On FS1’s The Carton Show, Hardaway, Sr. called the Irving trade a flop, said Irving and Luka are not capable of leading the team to success, and pounced on Dallas for fumbling Jalen Brunson (who’s leading the Knicks to the postseason).

Tim Hardaway, Jr. Distances Himself From Dad’s Criticism

Tim Hardaway, Jr. released his statement, via ESPN, adamantly opposing his father’s critiques and expressing that he did not play a part in his perspective.

I didn’t wake up this morning thinking that I had to focus in on this topic, but it is my dad. I love him dearly.

He’s been in his league for so many years now, so just for him to say that, I disagree with it 1000%. I’ve come out numerous of times and told you all how much leadership Luka has shown throughout my whole entire time here in Dallas. He shows it on and off the floor, and a lot of the situations that we’ve been in as a team, we wouldn’t be in without him. So let’s just set that straight.

And Kyrie has been nothing [other] than a leader since he’s been here — making sure that everybody’s good on and off the floor, texting everybody in in our group in the player-only just to make sure everybody’s good, everybody’s holding together, staying strong. Nothing but leadership there. So it’s just hard, just to deal with that. I love those guys. I love my teammates. I loved every teammate that I’ve ever been a part — team and teammates that I’ve been a part of and been with. So just to be focusing in on this instead of the game, it’s disappointing that I have to come out here and say this. I love him to death. Like I said, my dad made a mistake.

It’s his opinion, not mine. We’re two different human beings.

via ESPN’s Tim McMahon

Hardaway, Sr. previously said:

“That trade wasn’t for them, what isn’t broken doesn’t need to be fixed. They’re missing a leader out there. Luka is not a leader, Kyrie is not a leader. Jalen Brunson was a leader.

“A leader shows by example too, by playing defense. When he says something, he does it also, and thats what a leader is. And like I said, those two guys are not leaders, they’re complimentary, dominant great basketball players. Great scorers.”

Mavericks Are A Disaster

Dallas has played a disappointing 8-16 stretch since trading for Irving.

Making matters worse for the front office is Irving’s impending free agency and the king’s ransom they gave up to acquire the 31-year-old guard.

The Mavericks traded Spencer Dinwiddie (who led the league in assists last month), Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round and multiple second-round picks for Kyrie.

Dallas has also had to deal with the consequences of letting Jalen Brunson walk. Brunson is enjoying an All-Star-level season for the New York Knicks: averaging 24.0 points, 6.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds.

Luka Doncic hasn’t been off the hook with criticism. Complaints over Luka’s lack of effort on the defensive end have also referenced concerns with Doncic’s weight. The 6-foot-7 Luka reportedly showed up to Mavs’ training camp at 260 lbs.

Heading into Wednesday’s game against the three-seeded Sacramento Kings, the Mavericks are 37-42 and 11th in the Western Conference standings — one spot out of the play-in tournament.

Dallas is caving under the weight … no shade to Luka.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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